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Oprah Network Delayed Again

Oprah Winfrey’s lifestyle network is having a tough time coming to life. Representatives for the lifestyle channel are now telling media agencies that the channel’s projected launch date is third quarter 2010.

That is a stunning delay given that the concept of the service was first announced in January 2008. Executives then said it would launch the following year with expectations for a 2009 launch. 

Then in January 2009, Winfrey named former MTV executive Christina Norman as president and a press release suggested a launch date of between late 2009 and early 2010. This latest delay is a sign that things are not going as smoothly as expected at the service which is owned by the Oprah Winfrey Network LLC, an entity co-owned equally by Discovery Communications and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo.

Last week Discovery parachuted in Debbie Myers, as interim general manager of OWN and also drafted Kathleen Kayse as head of ad sales to get things moving. One executive familiar with talks said OWN is also looking to hire a chief operating officer.

Spokeswomen for OWN and Discovery were not immediately reachable for comment.